New building lexicon banishes “condo,” elevates “timeshare”

New building lexicon banishes “condo,” elevates “timeshare”

The words ‘condo’ and ‘multifamily’ have virtually disappeared from the lexicon of building departments In the nine valley cities Why? Lawsuits. Class action lawsuits. Builders cannot afford to build condo projects, which subject them to class action lawsuits where homeowners association members join together. Unlike single-family home litigation, homeowners association lawsuits can bring millions in settlement costs.

Lawsuits are often started by one disgruntled homeowner who threatens his homeowners association with a lawsuit unless they pursue the builder with what has become a standard bedsheet of claims, from bad plumbing to leaky drains.

Usually in cases like this, the attorney has to fill the name of the builder, the architect and the suppliers.

It would seeminlg call the judge to sort out the claims for but more often than not, such cases are settled out of court, with the builder and his insurance company being socked for the final settlement.

This leads to the question: Can you name one condo project (not timeshare) which has been built in the valley in the last five years? Timeshares are the “in” type of construction today, especially in an area like the Coachella Valley, which offers great weather, golf and tennis.

Timeshare owners have only a One-or two-week stake in the project. Generally, they’re not interested in joining lawsuits which could result in paying legal fees.

This does not preclude the fact that the owners of single-family homes cannot sue for defective construction. It is just harder to get them together than those who belong to associations.

In the Los Angeles basin, where the price of single-family homes is going out of sight, you might think that condos would be the answer, especially to young families entering the housing market.

But only high-end condos are being built there, with prices ranging from $400,000 to $1.21 million.

Copyright Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum Oct 16, 1998

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